31 Mar 1945
  • USS Tirante sank a Japanese sail with gunfire. ww2dbase [Tirante | CPC]
  • German forces began withdrawing from the Netherlands. ww2dbase [TH]
  • As the troops of the French First Army crossed the Rhine River near Speyer, Germany, they became the first French troops to attack across the river since Napoleon Bonaparte. Meanwhile, US Third Army reached Siegen, Germany. ww2dbase [Crossing the Rhine | TH]
  • Soviet forces crossed into the Germany border from Sopron, Hungary. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Allied commander Eisenhower demanded German surrender over radio. ww2dbase [Dwight Eisenhower | CPC]
  • Otto Skorzeny was ordered to go to the "Alpine Fortress". ww2dbase [Otto Skorzeny | CPC]
  • 50 Japanese Army Renraku-tei special attack boats sank American landing ship LSM-12 at Okinawa, Japan. ww2dbase [Renraku-tei-class | CPC]
  • Soviet troops captured Ratibor and Katscher, Germany (now Raciborz and Kietrz, Poland). ww2dbase [Silesian Offensive and the Siege of Breslau | CPC]
  • On Heinrich Himmler's orders, men led by SS-Sturmbannf├╝hrer Heinz Macher attempted to use tank mines to demolish the SS castle of Schlo├č Wewelsburg in B├╝ren, Germany. The attempt only damaged the southeast tower, while the rest of the castle, was damaged by fires. The 9,000 SS Ehrenring (SS Honor Rings) stored at the castle were taken away by Macher and were buried at a secret location in nearby woods. ww2dbase [Schlo├č Wewelsburg | B├╝ren, Westfalen-Nord | CPC]
  • The USAAF 306th Bomb Group flying from RAF Thurleigh launched a bombing raid against the reinforced submarine pens at Farge, Germany using the rocket-assisted "Disney" bomb for the first time operationally. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | Farge | DS]
  • USS Sunfish departed Apra, Guam, Mariana Islands for her eleventh war patrol. ww2dbase [Sunfish (Gato-class) | Apra | CPC]
Hawaii Japan
  • Light carrier Ryuho's anti-aircraft weapons fired on attacking US aircraft at Kure, Japan. ww2dbase [Ryuho | Kure, Hiroshima | CPC]
  • USS Yorktown (Essex-class) pounded Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands and its surrounding islets in softening-up strikes. ww2dbase [Okinawa Campaign | Yorktown (Essex-class) | Okinawa | DS]
  • USS St. Louis rearmed at Kerama Retto and conducted additional bombardments of Okinawa. ww2dbase [Okinawa Campaign | St. Louis | Okinawa | DS]
  • United States submarines operating off Kyushu received orders to form a wolfpack consisting of USS Silversides, USS Threadfin, and USS Hackleback. Unit commander would be the commanding officer of USS Silversides, Cdr J.C. Nichols, and thus the wolfpack would be known as "Nicks Nippers." ww2dbase [Silversides | Threadfin | Hackleback | Bungo Channel | DS]
Norway Pacific Ocean
  • USS Spot, misidentified as a hostile submarine, was attacked by American destroyer USS Case; USS Spot did not suffer any damage by the two salvos fired. ww2dbase [Spot | CPC]
  • In the Philippine Sea, Japanese submarine I-361 with its deck loaded with five Kaitens was spotted on the surface by US Navy Lt(jg) Sam Stovall flying a TBM-3E Avenger from USS Anzio. The Avenger released a Mark 24 FIDO acoustic homing torpedo and I-361 was lost with all 76 hands plus the five Kaiten pilots. ww2dbase [TBF Avenger | Anzio | Kaiten-class | Mark XXIV | Philippine Sea | DS]
United Kingdom Photo(s) dated 31 Mar 1945
USS Makin Island at anchor at Kerama Retto, Ryukyu Islands, Japan, 31 Mar 1945

31 Mar 1945 Interactive Map

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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Famous WW2 Quote
"Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue."

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, 16 Mar 1945

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